SOUR TIMES

Portishead Side-Project Beak> Explores Darker Territory

The opening tones of >>, the abstract and onomatopoeically titled sophomore record from art-rockers Beak>, sound like birds morosely whooping and howling. It’s the sort of cinematic melodrama the U.K.–based trio, which features Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, revels in. A far chirp from Portishead’s downtrodden trip-hop, Beak> paint tapestries of psychedelic guitar 
meanderings and sometimes-funky, sometimes-heady synthesizer rhythms, the likes of which accompanied dark moments in Italian zombie flicks and gritty NYC crime cinema in the ’70s. They record everything live in the studio, giving their records spacey overtones, which makes their music seem all the more authentic when they pull it off live. Because of that, half the fun of seeing Beak> live is watching Barrow & co. fall into their own personal hypnosis. With fellow ’70s synth-soundtrack enthusiasts Chrome Canyon.
Sun., Feb. 10, 9 p.m., 2013

 
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